Closing Thought–20Aug19

Economics

How many of you, my readers, believe that China is holding our debt?

Let me correct this erroneous thinking….

It is NOT China but Japan that owns the most Treasury notes……that craps on so many talking points.

Japan surpassed China as the largest foreign holder of U.S. Treasury securities in June.

Japan has added about $21 billion since May, making its holdings the largest since October, 2016. Japan now holds $1.12 trillion Treasurys, and China has $1.11 trillion, a $2 billion increase from the month earlier, according to U.S. Treasury department data.

China has been a less aggressive buyer of the U.S. sovereign debt, and market players have speculated that one action it could take in the trade war with the U.S. is to lighten up on its U.S. holdings. But there are no signs that is happening, according to traders.

The U.K. is the third-largest holder with $342.3 billion, up from $323.1 billion a month earlier.

(CNBC)

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

 

Advertisements

Random Thoughts On Space

As usual I am going to post on space news for it gets so little coverage in the Age Of Trump when we go from one crisis to another.

For decades we have been on the hunt for our ET brethren out there…SETI….other tries to find our relatives (according to some)…..but instead of finding the perfect planet for life as we know it maybe we should look elsewhere as well…..

Assuming that alien life will be similar to what evolved here on Earth could severely limit the potential for big discoveries, researchers said. 

On Friday (Aug. 2) at the first annual TESS Science Conference here at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a panel of scientists  discussed what’s next in the search for signs of life on other worlds — and just how close we might be to finding such signs. (TESS is NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, which just marked one year of planet hunting in Earth orbit.) 

https://www.space.com/alien-life-hunt-not-limited-earth-like-life.html

After reading that….I saw that a “super Earth” has been found…..

What was once considered pure fantasy in movies like “Avatar,” is now looking a little more plausible. Earlier this week, NASA announced the discovery of a possible Earth-like planet, located just 31 light years away – a hop, skip and a jump in cosmic terms – that may be able to support life.

“I think it’s an amazing discovery,” Lisa Kaltenegger, from the Carl Sagan Institute at Cornell, said. “We have a small mission called ‘Tess’ that’s scanning the whole sky, where the brightest and closest objects are, to find planets like ours and this is the first one.”

The planet named GJ 357 d, is six times larger than Earth. It orbits a dwarf star with two other previously unknown planets.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/planet-gj357-d-potentially-habitable-super-earth-discovered/

It appears that NASA is finally getting serious about a trip and colonization of Mars…..the biggest problem other than the trip there is the habitat that will be needed to house our colonists……

If humans hope to colonize Mars someday, we’ll need to figure how to survive and grow crops on a large scale in an inhospitable environment. A new study in Nature Astronomy suggests a potential part of the solution: Build greenhouses and other structures out of an extremely light insulating material called aerogel, per NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. This material, made mostly of silica and similar to Styrofoam, is nicknamed “frozen smoke” for its appearance, notes CNET. In their study, researchers mimicked the environment on Mars to show that the aerogel structures would allow in light for photosynthesis but block harmful UV radiation, all while raising temperatures beneath them to levels that would melt frozen water beneath the surface.

That, crucially, would allow habitats to be built in wide swaths of otherwise inhabitable parts of the planet. “Mars is warmer around the equator, but most of the water ice is located at higher latitudes,” says co-author Laura Kerber of NASA. “Building with silica aerogel would allow us to artificially create warm environments where there is already water ice available.” The next step is to test the concept on a larger scale in areas such as the Atacama Desert in South America and the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica, reports Wired. “This regional approach to making Mars habitable is much more achievable than global atmospheric modification,” says researcher Robin Wordsworth. “Unlike the previous ideas to make Mars habitable, this is something that can be developed and tested systematically with materials and technology we already have.”

But before we build habitats……Nukes the planet…..Mars that is…

This is a private businessman that wants to nuke Mars to make it ready for humans…..Elon Musk…..

Musk believes that by hitting Mars with nuclear weapons, the planet’s polar ice caps could melt and release vast amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which would essentially create a greenhouse effect that raises the temperature and air pressure of the planet — like a really quick version of climate change.

Musk has shared this opinion for years, dating back to interviews with the billionaire from 2015. He even went on Stephen Colbert’s late-night talk show to discuss his idea of bombing Mars

https://www.businessinsider.com/elon-musk-wants-to-nuke-mars-plans-t-shirts-2019-8

He should check the Outer Space Treaty before he goes off half cocked (pun intended)…..

Finally I have been a critic of Trump’s proposal for a Space Force…..but apparently some in the EU do not want to be upstaged by Trump…..

Emmanuel Macron’s race into space makes Germans nervous.

The French government is poised to lay out details on Thursday of a plan to staff up a “space high command” in Toulouse, as it expands the remit of its air force to cover orbital defense and ward off potential threats to infrastructure in space from big powers including China, Russia and India.

https://www.politico.eu/article/germany-wary-emmanuel-macron-space-force/

Now you can see why I am concerned about these space force units….they will violate treaties signed in the 1960s….let me help…..https://2009-2017.state.gov/t/isn/5181.htm

Please read the treaty and tell me that we are NOT violating it….but in case there is any confusion…..

The treaty’s key arms control provisions are in Article IV. States-parties commit not to:

  • Place in orbit around the Earth or other celestial bodies any nuclear weapons or objects carrying WMD.
  • Install WMD on celestial bodies or station WMD in outer space in any other manner.
  • Establish military bases or installations, test “any type of weapons,” or conduct military exercises on the moon and other celestial bodies.

When I post on the space stuff I reference the Outer Space Treaty a lot…..so I feel I need to dedicate a post to this document so my readers can better understand where I come from….Date TBA…..

But if space is not your thing….12,000 lies, many many golf trips costing millions each and but Obama was ruining the country…..missiles in the Sea of Japan…..Afghans walk…..playing tanker bingo……255 mass shootings in 2019……the race is on.

My day is begins.

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Closing Thought–16Aug19

Special operations has had its problems and its bad news in the last year or two….but there is one thing that continues the Special Operations Warrior Foundation….

Special Operations Warrior Foundation SOWF

The Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF) is a non-profit organization located in Tampa, Florida. The SOWF exists to care for the families of fallen and wounded special operations forces.

The SOWF was founded in 1980 after the attempt to rescue 53 American hostages in Iran. The operation resulted in the loss of eight special operations servicemen who left behind 17 children.

Since then, the Special Operations Warrior Foundation has assisted hundreds of children of fallen special operators with financial assistance in their pursuit of a post-secondary education. In addition, the SOWF has assisted countless wounded and injured special operations warriors.

The SOWF has two principle missions. It provides financial assistance for post-secondary education (college, university, or trade schools) to the surviving children of special operations personnel who lose their lives in the line-of-duty. In addition, it provides immediate financial grants to severely combat-wounded and hospitalized special operations personnel and their families.

Visit and check them out…..Special Operations Warrior Foundation

I hope that everyone has a safe and happy weekend….

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Israel Is Afraid Of A Couple Of Women

This nation proves daily to the world just how cowardly and bigoted they are…..democracy my ASS!

I am not a fan of the state of Israel….they proved yet again that it is anything but a democracy.  A state that steals, murders, and destroys anything they care to do….they arm a radical bunch of bastards to do their dirty work at people that disagree with their policies.

AIPAC gives freebies to Congress people…free trip to Israel ……but polls show that most Americans do not approve of these freebies….

Seventy members of the U.S. Congress (16% of the total membership) are visiting Israel during recess. Most of the private funding for the junket arrives through an entity called the American Israel Education Foundation. AIEF officially formed as a “supporting organization of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee” (AIPAC) in 1988 and applied for tax exempt status in 1989.

AIEF formed to receive fully tax-deductible contributions for “educational purposes” that could then be funneled into AIPAC initiatives. AIPAC – then as now – is categorized by the IRS as a lobbying organization that can only receive non-deductible contributions. AIEF claimed in filings to the IRS that it would educate students and young professionals about the Middle East and pursue other educational endeavors with a bona fide social welfare purpose. There is nothing in its application for tax exempt status about junkets for politicians. Yet today AIEF funds AIPAC organized trips to Israel for members of Congress costing $10,000 or more per individual. AIPAC staffers organize and conduct the tours. Thanks to AIEF and a handful of similar groups, one out of every three privately funded congressional trips lands in Israel. A recent representative poll of 2,000 voting age Americans asked about the Democratic Party delegation to Israel reveals 65.7% opposed it and think representatives should instead return to their districts.

(antiwar.com)

I think this amounts to bribery and anyone who accepts the freebie is guilty……a lawsuit has been filed with the Office of Congressional Ethics……finally take these bastards to task…..

Antiwar activist group Codepink has filed a claim with the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) arguing that yearly trips to Israel for freshman lawmakers hosted by the lobbying group American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) are unconstitutional.

In a complaint, the activists claim that AIPAC’s use of a nonprofit closely tied to the group’s organizational structure violates laws prohibiting lobbying groups from gifting personal travel to members of Congress.

“These congresspeople are our public officials who are being taken by lobbyists to a foreign country for the purpose of increasing support for Israel — a country that already receives $3.8 billion a year of our tax dollars,” the group’s co-director Medea Benjamin said in a press release.

https://thehill.com/regulation/lobbying/457456-activist-group-files-ethics-complaint-against-aipac-over-congressional

The mighty Israeli government is afraid of a few women of color…..they have barred two women from entry into the apartheid state of Israel.  Kinda like the cowards they are.

Last week, 41 Democratic members of Congress visited Israel, and 31 Republicans are currently there now, reports the Jerusalem Post. Such routine visits don’t generate much attention. By contrast, the proposed visit of two more members of Congress very much surfaced as a source of international headlines—because those two members happen to be Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, vocal critics of Israel. On Thursday, Benjamin Netanyahu’s government officially banned the pair, after being pressured by President Trump to do just that. Coverage:

  • About-face: Last month, Israel Ambassador Ron Dermer said the pair would be allowed to visit, but Prime Minister Netanyahu began signaling over the past week that he might reverse course, reports the Washington Post. It became official on Thursday. “The decision has been made; the decision is not to allow them to enter,” said Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely on Reshet Radio. The congresswomen were due to arrive on Friday, and the decision will not sit well with Democratic leaders of Congress.
  • The rationale: A new law allows Israel to bar people who support the movement to boycott Israel over its treatment of Palestinians, per the Wall Street Journal. Omar and Tlaib clearly qualify, as both have publicly backed the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement. (Omar also has been formally rebuked by fellow House Democrats for using “anti-Semitic tropes.”)
  • Trump’s role: The president had weighed in Thursday morning, continuing his frequent criticism of the members of “The Squad.” “It would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep. Omar and Rep. Tlaib to visit,” he tweeted. “They hate Israel & all Jewish people, & there is nothing that can be said or done to change their minds. Minnesota and Michigan will have a hard time putting them back in office. They are a disgrace!” Over the weekend, Axios first reported that Trump wanted the visit blocked.
  • The other reason: Netanyahu is locked in a close election fight, notes the New York Times, and he can’t afford to look weak to his base. Voting takes place in September. He and Trump have strong relations.
  • Itinerary: Omar and Tlaib had no visits booked with Israeli leaders. Instead, they planned to visit the West Bank cities of Hebron, Ramallah, and Bethlehem. Axios reports that the biggest fear of Israeli officials is that they would visit Temple Mount, which it describes as the most holy site for Jews and the third holiest for Muslims. Both Israel and the Palestinians make claims of sovereignty over it. Tlaib also wanted to stay longer to visit her grandmother in the West Bank.

A democracy would not do such a thing…..a cowardly bunch of racist toads would.

Israel is afraid of a couple of freshman representatives….typical cowardly intentions….kinda in the vain of the attack on the USS Liberty in 1967….that was cowardly and Israel has NOT shown me they are anything but a pack of cowards.

AIPAC is reporting they have broken with BiBi……

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) on Thursday broke with Israel’s decision to bar Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar (Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) from visiting the country, saying “every member of Congress should be able to visit.” 

“We disagree with Reps. Omar and Tlaib’s support for the anti-Israel and anti-peace BDS movement, along with Rep. Tlaib’s calls for a one-state solution. We also believe every member of Congress should be able to visit and experience our democratic ally Israel firsthand,” AIPAC tweeted Thursday.

https://thehill.com/policy/international/middle-east-north-africa/457568-aipac-pushes-back-against-israel-decision-we

Really?  More like a way to try and divert criticism….they will be back on-board in no time at all.  For now it is a good sign…only time will tell how serious this move is…..time will tell.

Since the Dems have egg on their face inb their undying support for Israel as a democratic state….after this the scramble will be on to try and fix the damage done by Trump and BiBi…..

Breaking News….Israel like Trump has waffled…..

Israel has decided to approve a petition by U.S. Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib to enter Israel on ‘humanitarian grounds’ so she may visit her Palestinian grandmother, the Interior Ministry announced Friday, this after it barred her from entering the country due to her support for the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.

With millions and millions on the line with Israel’s decision…..they have changed their mind on Rashida so she could visit her grandmother in the Occupied Territory

Remember when someone said “It is all about the Benjamins”?

This proves that that is the case.

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Closing Thought–14Aug19 #2

Your lucky day….something for nothing…..more closing thoughts than time…..

Yes Irene the nation is having that discussion a gain…..that gun discussion.

There is always a wealth of answers to the problem of gun violence…..from all out gun control to background checks…..and everything in between with proponents for each type of solution.

Now I have seen one that show some thought and imagination…..and it comes out of San Jose…..

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo is today proposing a city ordinance that would require firearm owners to either carry liability insurance or pay a fee to cover public costs of gun violence to the city.

Why it matters: San Jose is reeling from the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting last month that killed 2 children and 1 adult and injured a dozen more. The city, the 10th-largest in the U.S., is the first to propose this kind of “harm reduction” measure to curb gun violence.

How it works: If approved by the city council, the measure would require San Jose gun owners to have private liability insurance.

  • If such insurance is not available, or if an individual is not able to purchase coverage, firearm owners could pay a fee intended to help cover the costs to city police and emergency services related to gun violence.
  • That payment would need to be protected with strict privacy standards, possibly using blockchain technology, to comply with California’s state law that precludes local governments from establishing gun registries.

https://www.axios.com/san-jose-mayor-gun-owners-liability-insurance-0af1883a-a801-41c5-a4e9-0433c48f835f.html

This will not prevent anyone from getting a gun or guns…..it will not hurt the NRA as a matter of fact they might make a comeback financially by selling this insurance….

I have no problem with this….I must have insurance to drive my car…..so why not my guns?

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Trump Said What?

After the deadly nuke explosion in Russia that killed some of their nuclear scientist….the president took to his favorite source of manure spreading Twitter……

In an apparent attempt to “one-up” and embarrass Russia many are wondering if President Donald Trump just tweeted out U.S. national nuclear secrets. Seven people died last week during a “failed test of Russia’s SSC-X-9 Skyfall, a nuclear-powered cruise missile still in development,” as Vox reported. One expert called it a flying nuclear reactor.

President Trump, who has been tweeting up a storm ever since he kicked off his 10-day August vacation at his golf course in Bedminster, NJ, apparently decided late Monday afternoon was a good time to respond – not with condolences for the lives lost, but by gloating.

https://www.rawstory.com/2019/08/casually-tweeting-out-national-secrets-internet-stunned-as-trump-tweets-about-previously-unknown-us-nukes/

This is not the first time that Trump has divulged secrets for public consumption without the declassification process.

Now I wonder what would be said if say Obama or Clinton had thrown secrets out there to gain some sort of political advantage….thoughts?

How long will the American people take this sort of treasonous activity?

Mr. President, please stop giving away our secrets to your bud Vlad.

Learn Stuff!

VOTE!

Please VOTE!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Ding Dong The Rapist Is Dead

Epstein the bastard that used underaged girls for pleasure has been in jail until his trial….and Saturday last he was found dead…….

Jeffrey Epstein is dead of an apparent suicide, but that doesn’t mean the investigation into his alleged sex-trafficking ring with underage girls is over. The Wall Street Journal reports that others who participated in the alleged scheme could still face charges. “The many victims of Jeffrey Epstein and his accomplices should not lose hope,” says attorney Roberta Kaplan, who is representing one alleged victim. Kaplan pledges to “ensure that all the facts of his monstrous crimes become known to the world.” More coverage:

  • Skeptics: Not everyone is on board with the initial Federal Bureau of Prisons explanation of an apparent suicide. A tweet from MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough: “A guy who had information that would have destroyed rich and powerful men’s lives ends up dead in his jail cell. How predictably…Russian.” Another Scarborough tweet: “He reportedly tried to kill himself two weeks ago. And is allowed to finish the job now? Bulls—.”
  • Video? TMZ reports that it’s unclear if Epstein was under suicide watch, but if he was, video should be available from his jail cell to clear things up. It poses this question: “If he was on suicide watch, how did this happen, and if he wasn’t on suicide watch, why wasn’t he?” The FBI is investigating Epstein’s death. Multiple outlets say he hanged himself in his jail cell.
  • Suicide watch: Even if Epstein were on suicide watch, it’s possible he still could have killed himself. The Miami Herald explains how prison suicide watch works and how inmates (including former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez) still manage to foil it.
  • To hospital: The New York Post has an image of Epstein being taken to the hospital on a stretcher.
  • New details: Epstein’s death comes a day after a huge cache of court documents were released providing disturbing new details about how the alleged sex operation worked. The Washington Post has the nitty gritty, including how Epstein’s assistants coordinated the movement of girls to Epstein multiple times a day. “She is wondering if 2:30 is o.k.,” reads one 2005 message. “She needs to stay in school.”
  • Big names: One of the girls alleges that she had sex, at Epstein’s direction, with men including former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, former Senate Minority Leader George Mitchell, attorney Alan Dershowitz, Prince Andrew, and hotel magnate Tom Pritzker. The men deny it. The Miami Herald notes that in 2008, when Epstein famously got a lenient plea deal, Mitchell had been named one of Time magazine’s most influential people.
  • New focus? A post at The Cut wonders if the focus will now turn to Ghislaine Maxwell, the socialite frequently referred to as Epstein’s “madam” who allegedly recruited girls for Epstein. She’s been keeping a low profile since selling her New York townhouse in 2016. Maxwell figures prominently in the new court documents released Friday, because they revolve around a since-settled defamation suit brought against her by one of Epstein’s alleged victims, Virginia Roberts Giuffre.
  • More conspiracy theories: Because Epstein knew the Clintons, conspiracy theorists were quick to pounce on that angle. The most prominent among them was HUD official Lynne Patton, who posted, “Hillary’d!! P.S. Let me know when I’m supposed to feel badly about this… #VinceFosterPartTwo,” per Mediaite. The Foster tag is a reference to the suicide of the White House deputy counsel back in 1993.

Our president has Tweeted about the Epstein death……

The internet is humming with conspiracy theories about the death of Jeffrey Epstein on Saturday, and the president of the United States appears to be giving credence to one of them that pinpoints one of his predecessors: Former President Clinton. As the Washington Post reports, President Trump retweeted a tweet from conservative commentator Terrence Williams on Saturday that goes like this: “Died of SUICIDE on 24/7 SUICIDE WATCH ? Yeah right! How does that happen/ #JefferyEpstein had information on Bill Clinton & now he’s dead. I see #TrumpBodyCount trending but we know who did this! RT if you’re not Surprised. #EpsteinSuicide #ClintonBodyCount #ClintonCrimeFamily”.

The Post notes that the theory is “completely unsubstantiated” and that the president appeared to be conflicting with his own Justice Department’s ruling that Epstein’s death was a suicide; Epstein was in federal custody at the time of his death on Saturday.

I do not think that any sane person thought the Trump would let this go without trying to use the death to his advantage….but keep in mind the Trump and Epstein partied together with 28 young girls back in the day…….

Donald Trump once hosted a party with a guest list made up of just himself, Jeffrey Epstein, and “28 girls,” according to The New York Times, and ignored an organizer’s warning about Epstein’s conduct. The “calendar girl” event is reported to have taken place at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago in 1992. George Houraney, who ran American Dream Enterprise, claimed in an interview that he organized the event after a request from Trump. “I arranged to have some contestants fly in,” said Houraney. “At the very first party, I said, ‘Who’s coming tonight? I have 28 girls coming.’ It was him and Epstein.” Houraney added that he warned Trump about his friend’s conduct,

Read it at The New York Times

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/08/09/epstein-mar-a-lago-trump-1456221

Let’s not forget the extent this situation goes……

Just so there is no doubt of this man’s perversions…….he also helped others with the same sickness…..an ex-governor and a ex-senator were among his “clients”……

A woman testified that Jeffrey Epstein sent her to have sex while she was underage with former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D) and former Sen. George Mitchell (D-Maine), allegations the two men deny. 

According to court documents made public Friday, Virginia Giuffre testified in 2016 she was also sent to have sex with asset manager Glenn Dubin, modeling executive Jean Luc Brunel and the late MIT scientist Marvin Minsky, expanding on past claims that she was used as a “sex slave” for Epstein from 2000 to 2002.

Epstein, a former financier and convicted sex offender, faces new federal charges of sex trafficking minors, to which he has pleaded not guilty.

https://thehill.com/homenews/news/456923-epstein-accuser-named-former-governor-senator-in-testimony-prosecutors

This person you elected as president knows NO bounds for his depravity or his falsehoods…..in the vain of Epstein.

“Lego Ergo Scribo”